So, for those of you who didn’t know, today is the birthday of your friend and mine, Mike Sterling. I’m not going to say how old he is, because I’m not sure there’s a word for a number that high.
Mike’s been doing the comics retail thing for a long time. Why, I remember the story he told me about the time he met Jack Kirby. As Mike said to him “Kid, don’t quit your day job. Now get off my lawn.”
There’s a number of things that people don’t know about Mike that may surprise them. He owns the world’s largest collection of songs about marijuana. Which is ironic, because Mike’s drug of choice is Diet Coke. And by “Diet Coke” I mean “the blood of obnoxious customers.”
Mike has often been compared to a twentieth century dictator, which is completely inaccurate if you ask me. Mussolini never had a co-worker’s legs broken for parking in his spot, after all.
If you ever need to know how to get hobo blood out of a delicate fabric or how much lye you need to dissolve a human body, Mike’s your man.
But I kid Mike. I kid because I love him. Not like a brother. More like that creepy uncle you see twice a year. The quiet one. The one the neighbors never expected to do anything like that.
And Mike can be very generous when the mood strikes him. I remember, there was this one time when one of his co-workers spilled a can of Mike’s Diet Coke onto an issue of Swamp Thing. Now, Mike could have over-reacted, blown his stack, that sort of thing. But no, Mike very calmly and in a soft tone of voice explained to Aaron how what he did was wrong.
The doctors expect Aaron to have full use of his hands back in a few months.
No, seriously, Mike does a lot of good for the community. Managing the comic book store for one. Well, it gives the real hopeless cases something to do and keeps them off the streets. And Mike is their king. He’s got a little crown and everything. Okay, it’s the twist-ties from bread packages strung together and spray-painted gold, but it’s a crown all the same.
Luckily, Mike’s toupee is made from the finest camel-hair known to man, so that paint doesn’t fleck off and discolor it.
If there’s one thing you can say about Mike, it’s that he’s open-minded about the existence of the supernatural and psychic abilities. He was telling me just the other day about the last time he was hanging out with his personal spiritual advisor. They met in their Hair Club.
So here’s to Mike, the finest man I know!
Even Thursday nights, when he’s Mistress Dominique.